Where could an accountancy qualification lead you?

Where could an accountancy qualification lead you?

Getting an accountancy qualification is invaluable and it doesn't necessarily mean you have to pursue a traditional accounting career

Where could an accountancy qualification lead you?

You will never regret studying a professional course, but when it comes to accounting qualifications not everyone realises that they can take you in many different directions.

You may be looking for a traditional accounting career, working for a firm or as an in-house accountant for a company, but you might also be wondering what else you could do with your fresh accounting knowledge.

Accountancy Age have collected all the options in one place, and there’s something for everyone!

1. Pursue an interesting, well-paid career in accounting

First and foremost, gaining an accountancy qualification will allow you to follow a career which is at the heart of every business and develop skills which will always be in demand. You can even gain your qualification flexibly and online now.

An accountancy career gives you the chance to choose between working for a large or small business, specialise in different areas, follow a clear progression path, and strive to earn a very desirable wage. If you like travelling, there are plenty of opportunities to go abroad for work.

2. Choose between practice and industry

Once you have your qualification, you’re free to choose where you want to take your career next. One big decision is do you want to work in practice in a firm or would you rather be an industry accountant?

Both have their merits and, while they bear some similarities, they also suit different personalities. Accountants in practice need to be excited about interacting with clients and ready to manage a diverse portfolio of customers across different sectors. Industry accountants work for one company and play an extremely key role in that company’s finances and ultimately its growth and success.

3. Work in areas that interests you

As an accountant you can work across numerous different sectors and with hundreds of different companies over the course of your career. You get the chance to learn about many different walks of life and experience the challenges and successes of these areas.

If you’re a practice accountant with interests in several areas, for instance health, sport, and food, you can tailor your client portfolio to your passions. Industry accountants can choose to work for companies in a particular sector that interests them, or even apply for roles in a specific company they want to work for.

4. Pursue a wild and wacky accounting job

The accounting profession has a lot more on offer than you might think. One option is pursuing a career with an accountancy firm, but you could also find yourself working as a forensic accountant, an environmental accountant, or a fintech accounting consultant.

Other exciting routes are working in government finance, corporate entertainment finance, and premier league finance.

5. Become a chartered accountant

If you choose to study to become a chartered accountant, you will gain a globally respected qualification which will enable you to enter the profession anywhere in the world.

It will open so many doors for you. Chartered accountants become key business advisers making high-level strategic decisions aimed at driving business growth for their company and clients.

6. Start your own business

If you fancy yourself an entrepreneur one option when you have your accounting qualification is to start your own business. With new start-ups appearing everyday in the UK and around the world, now is a great time for accounting firms since most of these small businesses cannot warrant a full time in-house accountant.

Starting your own business is never easy. You need to be dedicated, driven, and ensure you have taken time to understand exactly what must be done, for instance meeting compliance standards. However, it is a very rewarding route to take and can see you do very well financially and from a personal goals perspective.

7. Take your career in another direction

Accounting qualifications teach you skills and knowledge you need in many professional arenas. In other words, you don’t have to follow a strict accounting career once you have one.

You need accounting and finance skills to start any business. Other routes you might consider taking with your new accounting knowledge are treasury, banking, and global charity finance. There are even celebrities who have taken their accounting qualification to very different places, for instance comedian Eddie Izzard and author John Grisham. Even Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger started an accounting degree at LSE, but rock and roll got in the way of him completing it.

8. Progress to Partner in practice or CFO in industry

The progression opportunities in an accounting career are fairly clear and achievable if you are prepared to work hard. Where some career paths are difficult to navigate, if you enjoy working in accounting you can set yourself goals for the levels you want to reach and when, no matter whether you choose practice or industry.

In practice, you start as a junior associate and progress to senior and manager roles as you gain experience and further qualifications. Following senior manager, you can move up to director or partner of a firm. With industry, you start as an accounts assistant, then progress to financial analyst, financial accountant, financial manager, before becoming head of finance or CFO of a company.

9. Earn a desirable salary

According to the Accountancy Age salary survey results from earlier in the year, UK accountants earn an average annual salary of £62,042, which is a pretty good incentive.

As you move up the ranks, the financial offerings can be excellent. The highest salary disclosed in our survey for practice accountants was £400,000 and for industry accountants it was £225,000.

Never underestimate the value of an accountancy qualification. You don’t need to have your heart set on being a traditional accountant before doing one, since the skills they teach are relevant for many career paths and the doors they open could lead to a multitude of different careers.


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